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Thirunelli Maha Vishnu Kshetram is believed to be the only place where Hindus can perform every ritual pertaining to our lives here on earth - from birth to death and after death to attain moksha or ultimate liberation from the cycle of birth and rebirth. Fittingly enough, this ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu in Kerala is also referred to as the 'Kashi of the South.' Kashi or Varanasi is one the world's oldest cities and the 'religious capital' of India.

The temple is located at a height of about 900 meters above sea level in the northern Wayanad district of Kerala and is situated in the dense forest reserves of the Brahmagiri Mountains. Once you depart from Mananthavady, one of the bigger towns in Wayanad, the route passes through several remote hamlets before entering the beautifully peaceful wildlife sanctuaries where wild elephants roam the slopes alongside herds of spotted deer, peacocks, buffaloes and clans of chattering monkeys.

While there are no confirmed records of the date of establishment of the temple, there is documentary proof that Thirunelli was an important town and pilgrim center in southern India during the rule of the Chera King Bhaskara Ravi Varma I (962-1019 CE). It is estimated that the temple dates back to at least over a 1,000 years and there are several interesting myths associated with the formation of the temple itself. Read Full Article

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